Mill District Healdsburg

The Proposed Master Plan with Public Space

Site Features

  1. Ground Floor Commercial

  2. Hotel Entry Courtyard

  3. Pedestrian Courtyard

  4. Publicly Accessible Park

  5. Adventure Play Area

  6. Pool

  7. Community Gardens

  8. Courtyards

  9. Heritage Redwoods

  10. Future Street Extension

Podium and Underground Parking Plan

Mill District will provide 473 parking spaces, including 75 on-street parking spaces. Some are on the streets under shade trees, but the majority are underground and hidden from view.

  • Mill District will be adjacent to many forms of transportation and promote alternative transportation throughout the site including bicycles and car share programs.

  • Off street parking will be utilized on all streets and residences will be accommodated with internalized structured parking in each phase. Multi-family residential units will wrap the exterior of the structure thereby hiding the interior parking core.

  • On street parking along Mill District’s frontage, along Healdsburg Avenue, will be subject to approval by the City. Mill District proposes on-street parallel parking. There will be a total of 75 new on-street parking stalls created by Mill District, both within Mill District Site and on Healdsburg Avenue to calm traffic exiting the Northbound Downtown Healdsburg freeway off-ramp.

  • Streets for vehicular circulation will be designed for low volume residential use. Mill District’s curvilinear streets and tree bulb-outs at corners purposely slow down travel speed, which is a desired characteristic for a safe residential neighborhood.

Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing Site Plan

Our Goals:

  • Help the City meet its housing goals. We'll construct sufficient market-rate units to ensure the project's economic viability, while also supporting the development of affordable housing and middle income housing for those who work and/or live in Healdsburg.
  • Construct deed-restricted rental units to address the significant demand, while exceeding the City’s affordable housing requirements.

Building Twice As Much Affordable Housing As We're Required To:

Mill District proposes to build a maximum total of 208 residential dwellings. Of that total, up to 146 units will comprise market rate residences and 40 will be rental multi-family units.These units will be built in partnership with Eden Housing, based in Hayward, CA and designed by Pyatok Architects, based in Oakland, CA. The City’s inclusionary housing requirement is for 24 units to be made available to families with very low, low and moderate incomes. Mill District proposes to almost double our required contribution, constructing an additional 16 units beyond what the City of Healdsburg requests. All 40 will be available for rent by households with low (up to 80% of Area Median Income (AMI)) to very low (up to 50% of AMI) income.

These units will range from studios to 3 bedrooms, and will be located immediately adjacent to market rate, multi-family buildings and common areas. In this way, they will be truly inclusive and integrated within Mill District, sharing connectivity, design themes, and access to gardens and plazas. These units will be made available to Healdsburg residents and employees in accordance with the City’s local preference policy.

First Middle Income Units in Healdsburg:

Mill District is voluntarily providing 22 middle income units (120 – 160% AMI) within the overall project which will be made available to Healdsburg residents and employees in accordance with the City’s local preference policy. A minimum of 14 middle income units will be rental and the remainder will be for-sale units.

Eden Housing's Mission

Eden Housing builds and maintains high-quality, well-managed, service-enhanced, affordable housing communities that meet the needs of lower income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities. They revitalize California communities through their affordable housing development and property management activities, through the partnerships they establish, and the investments they make in California neighborhoods. Additionally, Eden provides free social services and supportive programs tailored to meet the needs of each specific project’s residents.

Principles Honored

Mill District will honor the City's vision, as set forth in the Central Healdsburg Avenue Plan:

"To create a distinct district that connects to, but is differentiated from, the existing downtown." - CHAP 2013

  • Promote city-centered growth by redeveloping a former industrial site with compact and efficient new mixed use development adjacent to planned public transportation

  • Respect and preserve the City's history and General Plan tenets by creating the "Mill District" neighborhood that incorporates features from the former mill operation into Mill District design

  • Develop compatibly with the downtown area and the City plaza through pedestrian and bicycle linkages for Mill District residents and visitors

  • Develop and operate a 53-room hotel and spa that complements Healdsburg’s small-town charm and supports Mill District’s economic feasibility, while contributing to its diversity

  • Construct a sufficient number of market rate units to provide for the economic viability of the Project while allowing for development of affordable housing multi-family units that assist the City in meeting its affordable housing goals

  • Preserve a grove of Redwood trees on the former House of Sonoma site in a park setting that will include recreational opportunities and provide a welcoming visual experience for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists at the southern entrance to the downtown area

  • Beautify and enhance the image of central Healdsburg Avenue as a primary entryway and key corridor used by visitors and residents to the City

  • Promote the revitalization and economic vitality of existing and future planned uses in the Plan area by encouraging the kind of new development that supports a healthy community and reduces blight

  • Design for and promote pedestrian and bicycle use in the Plan area, linked to other parts of the community, including the historic depot area and the Foss Creek Pathway

  • Maintain and enhance vehicle ingress/egress to existing and planned uses in the area

  • Enhance the streetscape image to spur removal of blighted conditions such as abandoned and underdeveloped buildings and nonconforming signage and to encourage development of private property and buildings

  • Provide site planning and architectural design guidance for phased development on the site Project Site consistent with adopted objectives of the CHAP. Provide for and encourage transit related housing, including inclusionary housing, as part of a mix of uses

  • Construct deed-restricted inclusionary rental multi-family units that will address an unmet, yet significant, demand in the City that exceeds the City’s inclusionary requirement

  • Support improved access and mobility to rail station by providing an easement within the Project to allow for the construction of a pedestrian safe crossing from the south side of the tracks

  • Incorporate sustainability design including the first to use Healdsburg’s Electric "Green Rate", installation of recycled water pipe, electric vehicle parking, low impact development features, 30,000 sf Solar Photovoltaic, bicycle parking, and a Sustainable Accredited Project

Designed According to the Healdsburg’s Governing Plans and Policy Documents

Mill District is designed in accordance with the provisions of Healdsburg’s 2030 General Plan, adopted July 2009 and amended in 2011 and in accordance with the Vision and Guiding & Framework Principles for Central Healdsburg Avenue Special Plan Area outlined in the CHAP, Final Draft, November 2013. Mill District is also designed in accordance with the provisions of the City’s Municipal Code, Title 20, Land Use Code; current through Ordinance 1152, passed August 15, 2016. Mill District is designed in accordance with the provisions of the Mixed Use (MU) Zoning Code, Land Use Code Chapter 20.8, Article VI. Mill District will maintain the existing Zoning and General Plan designations.

1How Mill District supports the 2030 General Plan’s "Guiding Principles"

  • 1A
    Maintain Healdsburg’s role within the region. Mill District will continue to promote the City’s role as a residential and commercial center for the northern part of Sonoma County by adding a significant amount of needed housing and a modest number of additional hotel rooms and commercial space for continued growth in the commercial sector.
  • 1B
    Promote city centered growth. This mixed use project incorporates high density (17.10 du/ac) attached multi-family residential uses and a total of 208 market rate and inclusionary units on a 9.59 ac site. This is the type of development that will protect the integrity of Healdsburg’s Urban Growth Boundary by developing the land within the Urban Growth Boundary in an efficient manner and in accordance with the City’s Growth Management Ordinance.
  • 1D
    Respect the City’s past and its roots. The proposed Mill District respects that use of the majority of the site as a lumber mill. Elements of the mill will be retained and integrated into Mill District such as re-use of the sawdust collectors, large kiln fans and large timber planks for use in Mill District interiors.
  • 1E
    Protect neighborhood character. Mill District incorporates new public streets to develop the site in the traditional block pattern. While the geometry of the blocks is more curvilinear vs. rectilinear due to the organic shape of the site, the fundamental creation of a block and lot pattern is utilized. In addition, Mill District will not be developed in a single phase and it is anticipated that there will be some minor design adjustments to the design of the future phases, generally compatible with the design of prior phases, which emulates the evolution of the older neighborhoods within the City that also developed over time. Further, multiple architectural firms will be involved in the design so that all the buildings do not come from the same ‘hand’, also a feature of the older neighborhoods.
  • 1F
    Protect and enhance the downtown and its plaza. This guiding principal was incorporated into the CHAP. It calls for efforts to enhance the downtown’s pedestrian orientation with residential uses to activate the downtown. The intent of the CHAP was that this District would be complimentary to the rest of downtown. Mill District includes a number of residential units that will add pedestrians to activate and support downtown businesses and create a lively evening time presence. Mill District has many pedestrian paths, as well as a significant open space which will encourage pedestrians to engage with and walk through the site. Mill District extends a public street and pedestrian sidewalk to the eastern edge of the site for future extension to the rail transit hub.
  • 1G
    Enhance gateways and strengthen primary corridors. Healdsburg Avenue south of the roundabout at Mill St. is considered the primary entry corridor to Healdsburg. Mill District will be improving approximately 900 feet of existing industrial land on the east side of this entry corridor. The enhancements will include a large open space, new sidewalk with on street parking and new commercial buildings all oriented towards and engaging with Healdsburg Ave.
  • 1H
    Embrace the city’s waterways. While this property does not front on the Russian River or Foss Creek, Mill District will utilize Best Practices for storm water retention and treatment which will protect the water quality released to Foss Creek.
  • 2A
    Balance resident and visitor needs. Mill District provides for both resident and visitor needs. The new housing will provide market rate for-sale multi-family housing and deed restricted rental housing. The hotel will provide additional hotel rooms for visitors, as well as provide corresponding Transient Occupancy Tax. Commercial uses will benefit both residents and visitors with a portion of the commercial space featuring an opportunity for subsidized lease rates to support local businesses.
  • 2B
    Manage residential growth to ensure a measured pace of development. Mill District will be subject to and adhere to the City’s Growth Management Ordinance.
  • 2C
    Promote a mix of housing types and below market rate housing distributed through the community. Mill District will provide for sale market rate housing with a broad range of sizes as well as multi-family units in excess of city’s inclusionary housing requirements.
  • 2D
    Ensure that infrastructure and services keep pace with development. The City is currently in the process of improving all the required utilities to the site with the roundabout and Healdsburg Ave. improvement project.
  • 2E
    Maintain a jobs/ housing balance. Mill District includes 15,000 sf of commercial buildings that will include a variety of commercial tenants, supporting Healdsburg’s job growth. Additionally, the Hotel will create new jobs. Mill District then also will be developing housing, both market rate and multi-family unit rental units that will continue the jobs/ housing balance.
  • 3A
    Promote safe and convenient transportation alternatives. The Right of Way widths in Mill District will be consistent with designs recommended in the CHAP and subject to approval by the City with some on-street parking. A narrower paved surface for the internal roads has been designed and is considered more pedestrian friendly as it slows traffic. Tree island bulb outs and crosswalk pavers are also ‘traffic calming’ elements that are incorporated in the design. Bike racks will be featured, as well as benches and other pedestrian friendly features to encourage walking. Mill District is located close to the future SMART train station and the City’s multi-use bike/ pedestrian path connects directly to Mill District site at the roundabout.
  • 3B
    Promote connectivity between neighborhoods and through the City. Mill District will have three points of connection to existing City streets – two on Healdsburg Avenue and one on Exchange Avenue. All roads and pedestrians paths will be publicly accessible. Public roads will connect to the eastern edges of the property in two locations to provide future connectivity to the Opperman property when and if it is redeveloped and also to the SMART property across from the future station.
  • 4A
    Protect agricultural resources. NA- refers to protection of surrounding ag lands.
  • 4B
    Protect the environment. NA- refers to City sponsored projects.
  • 4C
    Foster principles of sustainability and conservation. While this largely referred to City policies, Mill District will promote principles of sustainability and conservation including:
    • Higher density more efficient multi-family housing which promotes sustainability both in terms of denser/ more efficient use of land, as well as lower energy usage with common wall construction and lower volume to exterior surface area than single family development

    • Less public infrastructure requirements (piping, roads, sidewalks, streetlights, etc.) both in terms of energy usage and embodied energy in materials.

    • Best practices in storm water retention and treatment will be employed to improve water runoff quality.

    • Solar photovoltaics will be employed on individual buildings to bring down the requirement for the City to increase overall energy needs.

    • Providing additional hotel rooms and housing minimizes inter-county commuting and auto trips, reducing greenhouse gases

  • 4D
    Protect and enhance the natural habitat of Healdsburg’s waterways. Storm water will be collected, retained and treated on site prior to release to the public waterways.
  • 4E
    Preserve and enhance Healdsburg’s urban forest. Mill District will be preserving trees on site with particular attention to 15 mature redwood trees protected in a publicly accessible open space. An arborist report has been prepared to address Heritage Tree Removal and landscape plans have been developed to enhance Healdsburg’s urban forest. A total of 60 trees are anticipated to be removed by the Project, including four heritage trees, and 56 non-heritage trees. The majority of trees proposed for removal (44 trees or 75% of the total) are non-native, invasive Silver Wattle and Tree of Heaven trees. A Heritage Tree Permit has been submitted along with the Project.
5 Vitality
  • 5A
    Provide an open and inviting business climate, a balanced economic environment and a diverse tax base. Mill District will include a hospitality component that will contribute directly via Transient Occupancy Taxes ("TOT") to the City’s economy. Additionally, with a significant number of new residents, property tax revenue will contribute to all the recipients of property and sales tax. As well the new residents bring with them individual contributions to the community in terms of additional sales tax revenue and will bring individual benefits to the community.
  • 5B
    Support local businesses and industries. Mill District’s goal is to become part of the local economy by leasing space to local businesses. This local variety of commercial establishments is part of the attraction of Healdsburg and Mill District intends to make this central to the selection of businesses to occupy the commercial spaces.
  • 5C
    Protect and enhance qualities that attract visitors to the City. The mixed use nature, open space, pedestrian orientation and inclusion of the public into Mill District site all will contribute to the qualities that attract visitors to Healdsburg.
6 Livability
  • 6A
    Foster high quality design. While the initial Tentative Map submittal does not include Design Review level exhibits, those exhibits that are included demonstrate that Mill District will feature the highest level of design with three nationally and internationally recognized design firms: Olson Kundig Architects of Seattle, SB Architects of San Francisco and Vita Planning & Landscape Architecture of San Rafael. By including more than one design firm Mill District benefits from variety and is more akin to organic development than a single ‘project’.
  • 6B
    Maximize opportunities to active and passive recreation. NA- refers to City efforts. Mill District includes 0.8 acre of publicly accessible park with benches, pathways, a pavilion and a play structure for children. Additionally, a swimming pool and workout facility is provided for residents and hotel guests.
7 Safety
  • 7A
    Minimize hazards to life and property. Mill District will comply with all requirements regarding protection of Mill District and building practices to address fire, flooding and seismic hazards.
  • 7B
    Protect and improve Healdsburg acoustic environment. Mill District will comply with local and State requirements for mitigation/ protection of residential uses from community noise and will also provide mitigation from any commercial and public facility uses to comply with the City’s noise ordinance identified by the CHAP EIR and noise mitigation measures necessary due to the proximity of the proposed SMART Rail system.

2How Mill District supports the Central Healdsburg Avenue Plan (2015) "Guiding Principles":

  • P1
    Develop a street network consistent with the existing scale and fabric of Historic Healdsburg Mill District adapts the general layout of the CHAP with two access points from Healdsburg Ave. and a primary connection to the potential future redevelopment parcels to the east. A vehicular connection is made to the southern end of the site through to Exchange Avenue.
  • P2
    Choreograph an enhanced arrival sequence via Healdsburg Avenue to the downtown Mill District is being planned in connection with the road being constructed with the new roundabout project. The buildings fronting on Healdsburg Avenue are a mixture of two, three and four stories with store fronts and sidewalks facing Healdsburg Avenue to encourage pedestrian movement. The parking on Healdsburg Avenue will encourage drivers to park and explore the City via foot.
  • P3
    Build on the Plan area’s entrepreneurial legacy to create new employment Mill District will encourage a variety of local commercial users and thereby employ locally as much as possible. A portion of the commercial space will provide an opportunity for rental expenses to be subsidized to assist local start ups.
  • P4
    Foster a broad mix of land uses Mill District includes a balanced mix of residential, retail, commercial, and hospitality as well as a publicly accessible park and recreational amenities throughout Mill District.
  • P5
    Balance resident serving and visitor-serving uses Mill District maintains a balance through the mix of hotel rooms, residential units, inclusionary units and retail spaces that are geared towards local residents and the visitors who come to the City.
  • P6
    Foster a diversity of housing options The parcel plan will promote an organic growth of residential products consistent with the initial phases of development and over time rather than planned at the very beginning of Mill District.
  • P7
    Make alternatives to the private automobile easy With pedestrian connections to SMART using the pedestrian crosswalk constructed by the City of Healdsburg and the Foss Creek Multi-Use path, bus access, bike lockers and racks available in easily accessible areas to the public, car share vehicles, electric charging stations, Mill District provides and promotes significant alternatives to the automobile.
  • P8
    Provide safe and clear connections from downtown to the multi modal transit center, the surrounding Plan area and the Ward/Palm neighborhood The Mill District street network and pedestrian circulation options provide safe and clear connections from downtown through pedestrian corridors to SMART, the bus stop on Healdsburg Avenue and the nearby Foss Creek Pathway. The pedestrian connections take users through the site in a variety of ways in order to connect downtown with the residential areas to the south.
  • P9
    Implement public investments that will catalyze improvements The City has already implemented the development of the roundabout and Mill District will extend the Healdsburg Avenue improvements to the south as far as the property line with the McDonalds.
  • P10
    Foster sustainable neighborhood development Mill District will create a sustainable neighborhood through the reuse of on-site materials, development of LEED and CalGreen certified buildings, aggressive water management strategies, solar energy strategies and community recycling programs.
  • P11
    Respect private land ownership and market forces without losing a "bigger idea" The plan takes in to consideration the bigger ideas as presented in the CHAP relative to this part of the City – connections to downtown, the entrance to Healdsburg, the mix of housing products, material reuse and sustainability.

3How Mill District supports the Healdsburg Housing Element (2015-2023) Goals:

  • Goal H-A
    Maximize opportunities for the development of a variety of housing types to accommodate anticipated growth, facilitate mobility both the ownership and rental markets, and encourage a diverse community. Mill District will provide very-low and/or low income inclusionary housing adjacent to market rate housing.
  • Goal H-C
    Facilitate the provision of below market rate housing for those who live and work in Healdsburg. Mill District will provide preferential treatment for current City residents and employees for all inclusionary housing units, in accordance with the City’s local preference policy.
  • Goal H-C
    To promote energy conservation in residential development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Mill District will be constructed using CalGreen, LEED and other sustainable measures to ensure minimal impact to greenhouse gases and to promote energy conservation.

Land Use Comparison

Mill District's design is in strict compliance with the General Plan and Zoning Conformance.

ZONING Mixed Use (MU) Mixed Use (MU)
DENSITY Bonus Density (16 x 1.35 = 21.6) +/- 0.2 Gross FAR
21.6 Units Per Acre
HEIGHT 35-50 feet < 50 feet
SHARED PARKING PEAK DEMAND 419 spaces 473 spaces
INCLUSIONARY HOUSING 24 affordable units 40 "very-low/lower income" affordable units
22 "middle income" units

“We envision a public garden that's a vibrant, animated bookend to the historic town plaza.”


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